Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Coastal BC Plants: Bunchberry

Bunchberry

Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) is also known as Dwarf Dogwood. When you look at the flower you can see why. I’ve seen Bunchberry in Newfoundland and Coastal BC. It also ranges from Alaska to New Mexico. That’s a pretty wide distribution.


Bunchberry likes moist conditions such as forest floors, meadows, bogs, and rotting logs and stumps. I found my example on an overgrown logging road near a cut caused by winter rains and spring runoff.

It’s a perennial low growing plant that creates extensive and dense mats. Four to seven green leaves are arranged in a circular cluster and remain mainly evergreen. In the middle is a flower surrounded by four white bracts (modified leaves).


In late summer, the flowers mature into clusters of bright red berry-like fruits, hence the common name. They are edible, but tend to be mealy and bitter. But that doesn’t deter grouse. They eat them in great quantities. -- Margy

References: Plants of Coastal British Columbia by Jim Pojar and Andy MacKinnon (Lone Pine Publishing, 1994) and Wild Berries of the Pacific Northwest by J.E. Underhill (Hancock House Publishers, 1974).

16 comments:

  1. Bunchberry is new to me. I think they are pretty.

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    1. They have a wide distribution in Canada and some into the US. I'm not sure about worldwide.

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  2. It is pretty. All our berries are sleeping now!

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    1. Ours too, this was from a quad ride last summer.

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  3. Wonderful, colourful entry... can one eat them?

    Have a nice abc-day/-week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫

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    1. The Internet says yes, raw or cooked, but they are very bland tasting. I am very careful about eating things I'm not sure about, so I've never tried them. - Margy

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    2. better safe then sorry ;-)
      I can relate to that .

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  4. Never saw them, but if I want to I can, in a small part of Holland to be exact, but they are very very rare. Hope to see them one day because they are pretty! Thank you for your contribution.

    Liesbeth ABCW-Team.

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    1. Here in Canada they are quite common. - Margy

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  5. NOT an item I'm familiar with!
    ROG, ABCW

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  6. Wonderful nature shots and great choice for B! Thanks for visiting ~

    Happy Sunday to you ^_^

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  7. I've never seen these before - the leaves near them remind me of the stinging nettles where I grew up.

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    1. We do have nettles in the region but I believe these are from a ground creeping blackberry of some sort. - Margy

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  8. Thanks everyone for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate your interaction. - Margy

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